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In de Vrede

In de VredeIn de Vrede

Taps: - / Bottles: 3
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

72 Ratings
Ratings: 72
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.1%
$$ - reasonable


[ Bar, Eatery, Store ]

Donkerstraat 13
Westvleteren, 8640
Belgium
phone: +32 57 40 03 77

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Legally, the only retail vendor for the famous Westvleteren Trappist beers. Blonde, 8, and 12 are available, plus a selection of cheese and meats.

(Place added by: TheLongBeachBum)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 65 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of shigg85
shigg85

Japan

3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$

Just visited 12/28/13. Bring a Flemish-English dictionary as there is no English menu for food items. Westvleteren 6 and 12 available in bottle pours, not from a tap. 8 is available in 6-packs for sale at 17 euro (an awesome price). Really busy at lunch time with lots of locals, and the servers are a little understaffed. You better like bread, meat, cheese, and salad -- that's about it for Flemish food (I personally loved it and thought the quality was great, but my wife had a hard time). About 90 minute drive from Brussels. Really a great place, and the only (legal) outlet for Westvleteren beers.

01-02-2014 11:17:11 | More by shigg85
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $

Cool experience to visit the monastery in between visits at St Bernardus and De Struise, talk about an unforgettable day.

The pub is obscenely modern, almost shockingly so. Pretty stupid to complain since the service was frantically attentive and all 3 Westy beers were available at about 4 euros a piece. All were fantastic too - the blonde was a nice surprise and the 12 was as delightful as imaginable.

Not really sure how to rate the selection - they had the 3 beers. Didnt expect anything more and would have been upset with less. Perfect?

I would typically be supportive of the comments arguing Rochefort 10 or St B 12 are superior beers (i love them both), but this visit cleared those doubts and proved all the counter arguments to just be flat wrong. Westy 12 wins.

It seems a little odd to plan a visit to this region just to stop here, but its a must-stop when bouncing around Flanders - Saturday would be a good day as you can hit De Struise as well.

08-31-2013 20:20:10 | More by dirtylou
Photo of corneliusfontaine
corneliusfontaine

Netherlands

5/5  rDev +20.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$

This is one of my favorite places. In the middle of the Belgium farm fields next to the monastry and the brewery where they serve you the best beer in the world accompanied by fantastic. Cheeses and paté's. I visit them a few times per month and always return home with a smile on my face.

08-18-2013 14:11:16 | More by corneliusfontaine
Photo of RobertRedmoon
RobertRedmoon

Florida

4.56/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$

Be sure to check to make sure the place is open before you make the trip. The first time I went the place was closed from December 23rd to January 15th. That was January 15th and my hotel was in Brussels.

Anyhoo, the drive to the abbey is wonderfully atmospheric. Through fields and on dirt roads, it has a distinct country mood and charm. The grounds of the abbey are fun to walk through and spend some time after a few brews at the cafe.

The cafe is much larger than I expected. It has a family atmosphere, while the average age was probably 60. It was completely full and almost everyone I met and spoke to were Belgian, and many were locals. This gave it a small town pub feel.

This was also the first chance I had to try "the other two" beers. Even though the place was super busy the servers there were quick to spot an empty glass and refill it with some of the best beers in the world. When I went in November of 2012 the Blond was €3.70, the Bruin 8 was €4.20, and the Bruin 12 was €4.70. All doable considering I bought the gift-pack six-pack for €90 at a retail location in Germany. We also had desert that was delicious and went well with the beers.

Overall, it was one of the greatest beer experiences I've ever had. If you're considering it, do it!

07-29-2013 14:26:12 | More by RobertRedmoon
Photo of NJMikeNords
NJMikeNords

New Jersey

3.44/5  rDev -17.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4 | food: 2 | $$

Went in 2011 and at the time I was just getting into beer, so the only beer I really knew or cared about was the infamous Westvleteren. The food was not good, and not really representative of the food from the area. I wasn't told this but I think it was based on the minimalist food that the monks live on. I remember getting a slab of ham and bread, with the ham being an inch thick and I couldn't make a sandwich out of it. Just weird. But lets be honest here, I did not go for the food. Im just wondering what other reviewers are thinking with their "the food was good". Maybe if your a monk.. Was able to get a twelve pack, three of each ale, 8 and 12 to go. Still have two of each.
The beer is excellent. As with my experiences with other beers and brewerys, the beer will never taste as good as it does fresh out of the tap at the brewery. Westy 12 really does deserve to be in the top ten. (I actually think Rochefort 10 is better, but thats my opinion).

Overall well worth the 2 hr drive to the middle of nowhere, for the beer mostly, and for the experience.

07-13-2013 03:14:55 | More by NJMikeNords
Photo of IchLiebeBier
IchLiebeBier

Virginia

3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$

Well, who doesn't want to go here. The beer alone is worth the travel. But the food is pretty decent, too. I scored it high because the beer is so doggone good. The only issue I had was the crowd. It was full of tourists and always crowded. Although the service was excellent, there were other workers there who weren't so friendly, particularly in the gift shop.

07-09-2013 01:18:50 | More by IchLiebeBier
Photo of spoony
spoony

Colorado

4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$$

A-In de Vrede is located in a lovely, large, modern building in (pretty much) the middle of nowhere. We arrived pretty early in the day (11 am) and the big space was mostly quiet and empty with the exception of a few other tourist groups of various sizes. Unlike many places in Belgian, this place reminded me of a commercially-oriented U.S. winery. It isn't cold or clinical feeling, but it does not have the warmth you might expect from an abbey. The small gift shop is located near the front of the large bar.

Q-The choices are limited, but what choices they are! Westy Blonde, VIII, or XII is all you get, but it might be all you need.

Ser-The servers are friendly and knowledgeable about the beer they are selling. We didn't order food, so I cannot comment on that aspect, but our beers were delivered promptly after ordering them and poured with skill.

Sel-The very limited selection is what it is....

V-The prices are higher than other bars/restaurants, but they were not eye-popping. The high prices here are merely a reflection that beer prices in Belgian are so good elsewhere and I did not feel like I was being gauged here.

06-09-2013 22:47:04 | More by spoony
Photo of kingjohnh
kingjohnh

New Mexico

3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75 | $$

Overall, an amazing place and am blessed to have been able to visit. If you are looking to score a 6-pack b/c you didn't get through on the beer line, do NOT come on Saturday or Sunday. Our waiter told is that his boss rarely allowed them to sell beer through the gift shop on the weekend as the line gets so long and slows down things at the cafe. I wish I would have known this as I could have come during the week, but came on Saturday (today!!) out of convenience. Still got to have several of all 3 beers, but none to take home (not even the three pack from where people pick up their case). So, be sure to go, but Mon, Tues or Wed and preferably in the am.

06-01-2013 20:59:24 | More by kingjohnh
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4.2/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$

Arriving here by rented bike was much fun despite the constant smell of manure. Riding in the countryside is so much different from riding in the city, and the scenery is simply gorgeous. You'll likely ride by some hop farms, putting you more in the mood for a beer. By the time you have arrived, you will definately have built a thirst. I suspect that's part of the plan.

The cafe's interior is spacious, modern, climate controlled, and filled with many tables. There's a large beer garden out back, which gives you a great view of the surrounding countryside. On a mostly sunny day, this was the place to be. There is table service, which makes the experience even more enjoyable; it would have killed the mood if I had to get out of my seat every time I had to order a beer.

Most of you have heard about In de Vrede, and a few have probably just heard of it for the first time. For the latter, this is the only legal home of the exclusive Westvleteren beer. All three are available, served and poured from the bottle, into their own branded chalice. It's tempting to order nothing but the 12, but I think sampling all three beers in order will give you the proper In de Vrede experience. Even the weakest Westvleten offering is better than at least 90% of the beers out there, which tells you how good the beer is. Beautiful pours of the beer in their glassware just adds texture to the experience.

Small snacks are available too. You won't find a much bigger food item than a croque monsieur, and it's a simple, but well made version that works with the beer.

In de Vrede was made for the beer geek. It's a little out of the way, but to me, it was worth the trip.

05-20-2013 23:13:51 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of FightingEntropy
FightingEntropy

Minnesota

4.71/5  rDev +13.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$

8/16/12

I had a bottle to Westvleteren 12 at the Locus Publicus in Delft in 2003 before I understood what I was drinking. Fast forward to Belgium 2012: a trip to In de Vrede to drink Westvleteren as close to the brewery as possible was a no brainer (no public tours of the abbey).

We stayed at the Palace Hotel so that we could get an early start and be able to walk to bus stop. To get to In de Vrede, an intrepid beer drinker can take the De Lijn Belbus 69. A reservation can be made up to two weeks in advance, according to one website I read, but the official information said at least two hours in advance. The De Lijn representative, who spoke excellent English, said that it's a minimum two hour wait from the time a pick up call is made. When making a reservation to drink Westvleteren, the local name seems to simply be "the abbey." Saying anything else is superfluous.

In Poperinge, the bus stop is either at the train station or at the market downtown. We did the market downtown location that's just off the main square between the public bathrooms on one side of the road and a big church on the other. It showed up right on time. Several locals were on the bus and we were the only ones to get off at the abbey, which is conveniently the first stop. It's August now, so the hops are full and heavy on the vine as we see the town sign for the village of Westvleteren. The bus stop is right outside of the abbey itself. Head down the asphalt road beside the abbey, follow the large flags that say Westvleteren to the right, and stroll leisurely down a tree lined sidewalk to In de Vrede.

It is a beautiful day, so we sat in the bier garden in the back. Table service was fairly quick and it's whatever waiter is available. From what I can tell, it's pay as you go so no one has to keep a tab. We paid cash for the convenience, so never tried a credit card.

Gloria, naturally, started with the Bruin 12, and I got a Blonde 6 to taste up the ladder. Unfortunately, it's the height of summer corn and hop crops here, so my allergies are acting up and my senses are not at their best for this bucket list adventure. Imagining a visit to Westvleteren, I never considered that my hay fever that I tried to leave behind in Iowa would re-emerge in this very home-like part of Belgium. Since a non-summer visit isn't an option, I resolve to have a fine day drinking world class beer between sniffles.

The Blonde 6 is a hazy orange with an off white lace down the side of the glass. Slight yeasty nose and spice over a base of a light malt. Not an assertive nose, but pleasant, especially when sipped; the spice is strong in the mouth with a yeasty supplement.

The Bruin 8 is similar to the 12 at first blush. Very similar but lighter all around: color, body and taste. So, on to the 12. Incredible. The hints and tendencies of the 8 are in full bodied flavor for the 12. Exciting that it's so good. I had a secret fear that drinking on site might be disappointing but I should have known better. Thin brown head leaves an elegant lace, which has been light on pours of all three beers, that falls over an opaque, almost root beer colored body. Yeasty spice in the nose supported by fig, dark chocolate, overripe cherry and an almost sour earthiness that even our light summer breeze can't waft away. Taste has a slight yeast and carbonic bite. Sweet finish from a sugary center that balances the beer from front to back. Great beer that rightly deserves its reputation as one of the world's finest.

Lunch was very good but the only option for vegetarians is essentially a cheese sandwich with buttered bread. However, I'm pretty much happy with a big hunk of Gouda cheese. A very Belgian/Dutch lunch that was just fine to get us through the afternoon.

Finally being frustrated by the table service, I started getting 12s from the bar myself to make more of our drinking time. Being served on the patio, I didn't see any of our early glasses poured but confirmed later that everything is served from bottles and not on draft, something I hadn't thought about or seen in my research. When we got a waiter to get us a mid-afternoon dessert, he suggested the Coupe "In de Vrede," which is ice cream made with the bier (though I didn't understand which one but guessing a bruin). Too much whip cream on top for my taste but the sprinkled malt (like the inside of a malted milk ball) made it worthwhile; the beer clearly shows up in the ice cream near the bottom. Pricey but fun to order and probably worth the price of admission for most beer geeks.

Pictures of the cafe, the Belbus and more specific directions at http://pintsizedrevelations.blogspot.com/2013/03/in-de-vrende-near-abbey-st-sixtus.html

05-19-2013 19:46:50 | More by FightingEntropy
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In de Vrede in Westvleteren, Belgium
93 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.